• Friday, January 30, 2015

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Frontpage

Anomalies rife in govt audit office

Anomalies rife in govt audit office

Small projects, small bribes; big projects, big bribes. That is how government auditors go about taking bribes between Tk 10,000 and 500,000 during audits. The finding came in a survey by the Transparency International Bangladesh. The study has revealed various corrupt practices at the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG), the highest...

More than 50 feared dead

More than 50 feared dead

More than 50 overseas jobseekers are feared drowned after a fishing trawler with about 100 people on board sank off the Kutubdia coast in the Bay of Bengal yesterday morning. Bangladesh Coast Guard and police have so far rescued 42 victims, including three alleged human traffickers, in several phases as of filing this report...

Political unrest casts shadow on economy

Bangladesh Bank sees the ongoing political turmoil as a major threat to the economy as the country's longest blockade in about two decades is disrupting economic activities and putting investors at bay. "The central bank is concerned as disruptions from political unrest have reemerged, casting [a] shadow on expectations [of achieving the expected GDP growth]," said BB Governor Atiur Rahman. "I earnestly hope that peace and calm will return soon, enabling realisation of the growth prospects projected earlier,” he said while...

Take stern steps against arsonists

Take stern steps against arsonists

President Abdul Hamid yesterday urged the law enforcement agencies to take stern legal action against those killing people by hurling petrol bombs at vehicles. "You know the people of Bangladesh love democracy. Having differences of opinion in a democratic society is normal and that's the beauty of democracy. That's why it's important to practice democratic norms and values," he said. Hamid was addressing police officials at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban on the occasion of Annual Police Week-2015. He said, "But I'm shocked at the way innocent people have been killed recently by hurling petrol bombs...

Withdraw blockade for students' sake

Withdraw blockade for students' sake

As the country's ongoing political crisis seems to be far from over, the education minister yesterday once again pleaded with the BNP-led alliance to withdraw its indefinite blockade for smooth holding of the SSC and equivalent exams. Over 14 lakh students from 27,808 educational institutions are set to take the exams at 3,116 centres from February 2 against the backdrop of political violence that has so far claimed 35 lives, burned scores and injured several hundred since January 6. “For the sake of God and humanity, withdraw the blockade during the exams. Look at the students, think about them.... Please have mercy on us,” Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid requested the...

Safety on Highways

Govt to deploy 12,000 Ansars

The government has decided to deploy 12,000 Ansar personnel at 993 risky points on highways across the country to ensure safe and smooth transport movement and to prevent acts of sabotage. Initially, the Ansar men will be deployed at 216 vulnerable points on different highways from today. The decision came amid the ongoing indefinite blockade, which stepped into 25th day, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance. At least 35 people were killed and around a thousand injured during the blockade. Of...

Pro-govt rally at the cost of production

Production in many garment factories in and around the capital is set to be halted today as their workers are allegedly forced to join a rally in the capital. Led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, the Garment Sramik Samannay Parishad will host the meeting at the capital's Suhrawardy Udyan protesting the indefinite blockade enforced by the BNP-led alliance. Factory owners said they will suffer the most as thousands of their workers would abstain from work to attend the rally. “We've been counting...

9 injured in indiscriminate bomb blasts in capital

At least nine people were injured in crude bomb blasts in the capital's New Market area yesterday, the 24th day of the BNP-led alliance's nonstop countrywide blockade. Five hawkers, two students, a rickshaw puller and a pedestrian were hurt in the incident. They were undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Assistant Sub-Inspector Sentu Das of DMCH Police Camp told The Daily Star. Suspected blockaders hurled at least six crude bombs in front of Gate-2 of New Market around 5:45pm, leaving eight...

Backpage

Setting food standards key

With the Safe Food Act 2013 to take effect from Sunday, fixing the standards of food items is likely to be the greatest challenge in effectively enforcing the much demanded law. Experts said the standards have to be set as soon as possible in order to avoid a recurrence of the confusion that rose over the permissible limits of additives in food during the government's anti-adulteration drives last year. And the task won't be an easy one, they told The Daily...

Koko's Qulkhwani

Invitation to PM unlikely

BNP chief Khaleda Zia is unlikely to invite her archrival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to her younger son's qulkhwani, earlier scheduled for today but now deferred for a couple of days. The BNP-led 20-party alliance will hold doa mehfil (special prayers) at mosques across the country after today's Jum'a namaz for the salvation of those “killed by law enforcement agencies or in petrol bomb attacks by government's agents” during the ongoing movement, according to a press release.  The opposition combine came...

Dhaka to seek Myanmar gas

Dhaka is sending a five-member delegation to Myanmar today to build trust between the two countries through economic cooperation, with special emphasis on the energy sector. During the five-day visit, the delegation, led by Prime Minister's Adviser for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, would express the intention and make formal proposal to import gas through pipelines and 500 megawatts of hydropower from the Rakhine province of Myanmar. "We believe if we can establish connectivity, it will establish a good...

Govt failed to bring culprits to justice

The Bangladesh government failed to take steps to ensure accountability for any election-related violence or for other violations by its security forces in spite of well-documented evidence, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2015. “Government forces committed serious abuses both leading up to and after the January 2014 general election, while members of opposition parties engaged in violent and indiscriminate attacks to impose economic blockades and to enforce a boycott of the January polls,” it said. However, the sole...

Khaleda skips hearing in graft case

                BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday skipped a court hearing on the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases, citing mental state after her son's death. After accepting two adjournment petitions filed by the defence, Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of the Special Judge Court-3 of Dhaka fixed February 25 as the next date of hearing. In the petitions, the defence said they sought adjournment citing two separate writ petitions filed with the High Court. The defence, in the writ petitions,...

Jaishankar India's new foreign secy

Jaishankar India's new foreign secy

Subramanyam Jaishankar, former Indian ambassador to the US, yesterday took charge as foreign secretary, hours after he was appointed as the country's top diplomat replacing Sujatha Singh. “My priorities are the government's priorities. So, I think at this time let's leave it at that...,” said Jaishankar, a 1977-batch IFS officer, describing his new position...

ISIS hostage swap deadline passes

Jordan yesterday demanded proof that a pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group was alive, as a deadline set by the jihadists to free a female militant expired. ISIS had vowed to kill airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh unless Iraqi jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi was handed over at the Turkish border in return for Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. The extremist group had set a deadline of sunset Thursday for the exchange, but there was no news of the hostages after night fell...

Have we reached 'peak food'?

Have we reached 'peak food'?

The world has entered an era of “peak food” production with an array of staples from corn and rice to wheat and chicken slowing in growth – with potentially disastrous consequences for feeding the planet. New research finds that the supply of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is already beginning...

Serve people with professionalism

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's first batch of female military paramedics to serve people with devotion and professionalism rising above their personal interest. “I hope your today's great pledge of providing others with services will play a positive role in the healthcare of general people,” she said. Hasina was addressing the oath-taking ceremony and passing out parade of the first female military paramedics batch at the Army Medical Corps Centre and School at Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment of Ghatail. She...

Police detain 30 madrasa students

Police picked up 30 students, including 21 Dakhil and Alim examinees, after raiding a dormitory of Tamirul Millat Kamil Madrasa in the capital's Jatrabari early yesterday.  On information of subversive activities, police conducted the drive, said Atikur Rahman, sub-inspector of Jatrabari Police Station. Police, however, released 16 students in the custody of their guardians. They also showed six students arrested under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and eight others under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) act. A Dhaka court...

Canada spy agency runs global Internet watch

Canada's electronic spy agency has been intercepting and analyzing data on up to 15 million file downloads daily as part of a global surveillance program, according to a report published on Wednesday. Critics said the revelations, made in 2012 documents obtained by former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and leaked to journalists, showed much more oversight was needed over Canada's Communications Security Establishment(CSE). The documents are the first indication from the Snowden files showing Canada had its own globe-spanning Internet...

HRW calls for speedy justice to Nepal's conflict-era victims

Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday called upon the Nepal Government to honour its promises on providing justice to conflict-era victims, ending impunity and delivering a new Constitution. “It is deeply disappointing that Nepal remains stuck in the same place it has been for years in spite of the grand promises made after the end of the civil war,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. The Nepal government made virtually no discernable progress in any of these areas, the...

Thailand accuses US of meddling in its politics

Thailand accused the United States on Wednesday of meddling in its political affairs, saying many Thais had been hurt by remarks of a visiting US envoy who criticized actions by the ruling military junta. The long-time US ally expressed its displeasure about remarks on Monday by Assistant US Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel by summoning the US charge d'affaires Patrick Murphy to the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok. A spokeswoman for the US State Department said Murphy reiterated the...

Business

BB treads cautious path

BB treads cautious path

The central bank will continue to follow its restrained monetary policy in the second half of the fiscal year in a bid to contain inflation and move to a higher growth path amid the prevailing political unrest. Bangladesh Bank cited three reasons: the annual average CPI inflation is still above the targeted ceiling, core...

No strong links between pay hike and inflation: BB

Bangladesh Bank got mixed results while analysing the impact of pay scales on inflation, according to the new monetary policy statement released yesterday. “Our analysis did not indicate any clear or near one-to-one relationship (between pay scale and inflation),” the BB said in its policy stance for January-June of 2015. The central bank has analysed the causative factors of inflation around different pay hikes since 1982 after the proposed eighth pay scales triggered controversy centring its possible effects on inflation. Some economists...

Garment exports to new markets on the rise

Garment exports to new markets on the rise

Garment exports to new destinations are increasing substantially though shipments to traditional markets have been on a downward curve. The new markets are promising mainly due to the government's stimulus package, aggressive marketing by exporters and relaxation of the "rules of origin" by some countries. Rules of origin are the criteria that are used to define where a product was made. The origin of a product is important because it will determine how it is treated at the border of an importing country and the origin may impact the import duty payable and admissibility into the country. Apparel exports to new destinations -- all markets except the EU, the US and Canada...

Samsung to bring smartphone with own operating system

South Korean mobile giant Samsung is set to premiere its Tizen operating system in the country next month by way of the low-priced Z1 smartphone. “The smartphone market in Bangladesh is rapidly evolving, but many users are still using feature phones to remain connected. We have customised the Samsung Z1 to meet the unique requirements of Bangladeshi users, so they can easily upgrade to a smartphone,” said Choon Soo Moon, managing director of Samsung Bangladesh.  The local customisations were developed by...

EPZ investments edge up 12pc

Investments in the eight export processing zones or EPZs went up 12.17 percent year-on-year in the first half of the current fiscal year, getting a boost from new industrial units. Over $213 million was invested in the EPZs in July-December, compared to $190.23 million in the same period last year, data from Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority shows. The companies in operation exported goods worth $2.9 billion between July and December, against $2.59 billion in the same period last year, according...

Central bank to recognise good borrowers

Bangladesh Bank plans to frame a policy to provide incentives to good borrowers, as there has been an allegation that the central bank stands by only defaulters. "I have instructed the concerned department to prepare a rebate policy to provide facilities and incentives to borrowers who have repaid their loans in time," Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday. The response from the regulator came at the launch of the Monetary Policy Statement for the second half of the current fiscal...

Developing world needs better roads to curb hunger: study

Billion-dollar investments in basic transport and electricity in developing nations are among the best ways to curb hunger by 2030 since a quarter of all food is now wasted after harvest, according to a report issued on Thursday. A total of $239 billion invested over the next 15 years, in road and railway connections to connect farms to markets and in electricity supplies to improve cold storage, would yield benefits of $3.1 trillion by safeguarding food, it said. Mark Rosegrant, lead...

Facebook beats forecasts with strong profit gains

Facebook said Wednesday that profit soared on the wings of mobile ad revenue but stressed it is more concerned with investing in the future than making quick cash. While earnings figures surpassed market forecasts, Facebook executives strived to temper expectations, while stressing they plan to continue aggressively investing to achieve long-range goals. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg described 2014 as a year of heavy investments, with "big bets" placed on mobile communication and next-generation computing with multibillion-dollar buys of WhatsApp and the...

Nokia profits buoyed by growth in North America

Finnish telecom equipment group Nokia reported a sharp rise in annual net profit Thursday, boosted by a substantial one-off tax-related gain and strong North America sales in the fourth quarter. The group's net profit in 2014 soared fivefold to 1.16 billion euros ($1.31 billion) compared to the previous year, due in part to a tax gain worth 1.4 billion euros from its businesses in Germany and Finland. Operating profit was slashed by a third to 170 million euros while sales were...

Philippines confident of faster growth after 2014 rebound

Philippine officials voiced confidence the country had escaped a "boom-bust cycle" as they predicted on Thursday that economic growth would accelerate in 2015, after expansion last year beat international expectations. The economy grew 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, new figures showed, offsetting weaker growth in the previous nine months to boost full-year gross domestic product (GDP) expansion to 6.1 percent, exceeding forecasts from major international institutions. The rebound puts the country on a high-growth trajectory not seen in...

After Vodafone, India changes tax rules to boost investment

India's decision to drop a tax dispute with Vodafone Group Plc is likely to mean relief for Royal Dutch Shell PLC and others caught in similar, protracted battles, as the government tries to attract much-needed foreign investment. India's image as an investment destination has been tarnished by a reputation for red tape, unpredictable rules and a tax office long seen as over zealous in its pursuit of foreign firms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, seeking to reboot a slowing economy,...

Japan's top steelmaker cuts full-year profit forecast

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal said Thursday its nine-month net profit dropped 20.3 percent as it slashed its full-year profit forecast, citing the impact of plunging oil prices on a Brazilian unit. The Tokyo-based company, one of the world's biggest steelmakers, said its earnings for the April to December period came in at 153.6 billion yen ($1.3 billion), while sales rose 3.6 percent to 4.18 trillion yen. Nippon Steel blamed part of the profit slump on a 68.6 billion yen extraordinary...

China's challenge: Moving from copier to innovator

China's challenge: Moving from copier to innovator

When Brent Hoberman, the founder of online interior design and furniture store Mydeco.com, visited China one man in particular was keen to meet him, offering to meet any time of day or night. When they got together, the man explained that in 2007 he too had wanted to launch some kind of web business...

Asian airlines slash fuel surcharges but fares likely to rise

Asian airlines are slashing fuel surcharges as oil prices hover at six-year lows, but passengers hoping for cheaper tickets will be disappointed as carriers are likely to bump up fares to maintain margins. Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd became the latest airline to eliminate the surcharge on Tuesday, but at the same time said it was raising base fares as oil was not cheap enough to offset the impact of competition on international routes. Aviation experts say other airlines are likely to...

Uber steers anti-taxi idea to become global phenomenon

Uber steers anti-taxi idea to become global phenomenon

Unlike many American startups, Uber was not founded in someone's garage, but was conceived instead on a cold night in Paris, when two tech entrepreneurs could not find a taxi. Uber chief Travis Kalanick and co-founder Garrett Camp were attending the technology conference Le Web in late 2008, where they were brainstorming ideas for...

IMF begins work on 'Plan B' as US blocks reforms

The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it would begin working on alternatives to its stalled, five-year-old reform program after passing another year without the required ratification by the US government. In a proposal mapped out by the IMF executive board, the global crisis lender will take six months to see what can be salvaged from the 2010 reforms, originally backed by Washington, the IMF's largest shareholder, but now blocked in the US Congress. The IMF did not say what the so-called...

Samsung posts first annual profit decline in 3yrs

Samsung Electronics posted its first drop in annual net profit in three years Thursday and saw resurgent arch-rival Apple barge in on its pole position as the world's top smartphone maker. The South Korean firm, whose key mobile phone operations have struggled in the face of intense competition from cut-price Chinese rivals, also warned that it expected 2015's "business environment... to be as challenging as 2014." The tech giant said Thursday it recorded a net profit of 23.4 trillion won ($21.45...

Nearly 100 trade probes against China in 2014

China's trade partners launched nearly 100 investigations into its exports last year, Beijing said Thursday, blaming rising protectionism due to a lacklustre global recovery and the country's growing economic clout. The Asian powerhouse was targeted by 22 countries and regions with 97 trade probes, including 61 anti-dumping cases and 14 anti-subsidy investigations, commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said. "To a certain extent, the intense trade friction is a by-product of China becoming the world's biggest trading country in goods and second-largest...

Sports

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Jimmy & Midge in Tigers' nets!

Jimmy & Midge in Tigers' nets!

Bangladesh newbies Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar got the opportunity to bat against the dangerous James Anderson and the ever threatening Mitchell Johnson in the nets yesterday. They faced the bowlers for hours and, despite a few blows to the body, managed to decipher them quite well in the end. Sounds odd, doesn't it?...

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Expectations Down Under

'We have to be realistic'

'We have to be realistic'

The term "Banglawash" has been added to the cricketing dictionary and the man who coined it is former Bangladesh batsman-turned-commentator Athar Ali Khan. It was a spontaneous innovation after Bangladesh whitewashed New Zealand at home in 2010. As a commentator, the evergreen Athar has got opportunity to keep a keen eye on the Tigers' performances since 2000 and from that perspective he said that everybody should have realistic expectations regarding Bangladesh's chances in the upcoming ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from February 14. "I know about the expectations 16 crore people have from our cricket team, but it has to be realistic. We must take our opponents...

Two ICC events in Bangladesh

Two ICC events in Bangladesh

Bangladesh will host two major events of International Cricket Council (ICC) during the period of 2015-2019. The ICC Under-19 World Cup will take place in the country next year from January 22 to February 14 while the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be held from March 1 to April 4 in 2018. It was...

'I'll be a better human being'

'I'll be a better human being'

Banned Pakistan paceman Mohammad Aamer vowed Thursday to prove himself as a "better player and better human being" after his spot-fixing ban was relaxed by the cricket world governing body. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said Aamer, 22, can return to domestic matches with immediate effect, ending his five-year suspension, which was handed on February 5 in 2011, from all forms of the game some eight months early as his ban was due to expire on September 22. Aamer, who was banned for his part in a scandal in which he arranged no-balls to order in a 2010 Test against England, said he was overwhelmed by the ICC announcement. "It's the...

Sangakkara narrows gap

Kumar Sangakkara's masterful double of a century and a world-record wicketkeeping performance inspired Sri Lanka to a 34-run win over New Zealand in their one-day series finale in Wellington on Thursday. Even though it was a dead rubber, with New Zealand going into the match holding an unbeatable 4-1 lead in the seven-match series, it was a morale boosting win for Sri Lanka. SCORES IN BRIEF SRI LANKA: 287 for 6 in 50 overs (Thirimanne 30, Dilshan 81, Sangakkara 113 not out,...

Super Over to decide tied WC final

The upcoming cricket World Cup final will be decided by a Super Over in the event of a tie, the sport's governing body announced on Thursday. The move is a return to the playing condition in force at the last World Cup in 2011, abandoning a proposal to have "joint winners", made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last year. "The ICC Board reinstated the use of a Super Over in the event of a tie in the ICC Cricket World...

Big win for Proteas

Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw both hit centuries for the second time in the series to set up a 131-run win for South Africa in the fifth and final one-day international at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. Amla made 133 and Rossouw powered his way to 132 in a South African total of 361 for five in an innings reduced to 42 overs because of rain. West Indies were bowled out for 230 in reply with left-arm pace bowler Wayne Parnell taking...

Rain spoils 2nd day

Rain ruined Bangladesh Under-19s' batting progress on the second day of the first three-dayer against their Sri Lankan counterparts at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium yesterday. The visitors reached 78 for 2 in 28 overs in reply to the hosts' 216 before rain stopped play. Shadman Islam scored 56 runs off 69 balls, smashing eleven boundaries. Earlier left-arm spinner Mohammad Nihaduzzaman took the last wicket of Sri Lankan side to finish with figures of five for 55 runs.

Last chancefor India to reach final

India and England clash on Friday in Perth with the winners taking their place in the tri series final against Australia in the shadow of the looming World Cup. The hosts are enjoying extra time to prepare for Sunday's final at Perth's WACA ground while the tourists go at each other again. England thrashed India by nine wickets in their last encounter and ran Australia close in their second meeting last week in Brisbane. And that has put captain Eoin Morgan in...

Australian Open

Serena v Maria in grudge final

Serena v Maria in grudge final

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova set up a grudge Australian Open final between the world's top two players Thursday, with the Russian desperate to break 10-year jinx against her arch-rival. The best two players in the world have a long history and the odds are stacked in Williams' favour ahead of the Melbourne Park...

Murray storms into final

Britain's Andy Murray stormed into his fourth Australian Open final with a commanding four-sets win over Czech Tomas Berdych on Thursday. The dual Grand Slam champion, seeded six, beat the seventh seed 6-7 (6/8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 and will play either Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka in Sunday's decider. The tournament has been a heartbreak Grand Slam for the Scot with three runner-up finishes, but he has given himself another chance to break through and add to his Wimbledon...

LAMPARD ON THE MOON!

LAMPARD ON THE MOON!

One plucky Manchester City fan has wagered a full 500 pounds on Frank Lampard to score the first goal in Sunday's crunch Premiership meeting against Chelsea after claiming to have seen the midfielder's face on the moon over London and taking it as some kind of celestial omen. Moonstruck City fanatic Kieran O'Brien posted proof of his bet on Twitter along with a picture of the moon, with an unconvincing silhouette of Lampard's face.                                                      -- Internet

Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2015

Scoreline flatters inferior booters

Scoreline flatters inferior booters

Even an open declaration of a 30-lakh taka cash incentive and the support of a full-house at the Sylhet District Stadium failed to inspire Bangladesh, who went down 0-1 against Malaysia U-23 in the opening match of Bangabandhu Gold Cup yesterday. The hosts -- visibly inferior in strength, skill, idea and motivation against this...

Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2015

De Kruif hides behind phantom nerves

Bangladesh coach Lodewijk de Kruif blamed the team's mental approach and a 'silly goal' while defending his decision to keep Zahid Hasan Emily for the entirety of the match, despite the striker's costly mistakes after the 0-1 defeat against Malaysia U-23 team yesterday. The 46-year-old coach felt that it was the initial nervousness and taking too much pressure that put them on the backfoot, but felt from tactical, technical and physical aspects, his side's performance was 'okay'. “In the first 25...

Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2015

SYLHETEA

SYLHETEA

Nihar Ranjan, one of two commentators flown in from India by the official broadcasters Channel 9, revealed something interesting during a casual chat. The footballer-turned-commentator claimed he coaches a team of the West Bengal prisoners, where a Bangladeshi boy named Robin is the main goalkeeper. However, his prediction about the opening match was...

AFC Asian Cup, Australia 2015

Gulf nations want Australia out

On the eve of the Socceroos battling it out in the Asian Cup final, Football Federation Australia is about to face an even bigger battle after a movement mobilised among some Gulf nations to have Australia expelled from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Speaking to a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa revealed he was aware that momentum for Australia's removal from the confederation continued to strengthen among Gulf nations after rumours began...

Destro agrees Milan deal

Roma striker Mattia Destro has agreed to join AC Milan, the struggling Serie A giants announced Thursday. Milan CEO Adriano Galliani agreed terms with Roma officials on Wednesday and had only been waiting on the 23-year-old Italy international player's agreement. No further details were given by Milan, although it is believed Destro will move on a six-month loan deal worth 700,000 euros but could secure a permanent deal to the San Siro giants at the end of the summer for 16...

Tottenham set Chelsea date

Two moments of magic from Christian Eriksen helped Tottenham Hotspur reach the final of the League Cup with a 3-2 aggregate victory over resilient League One club Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Dane Eriksen's sublime first-half free-kick put Maurico Pochettino's team 1-0 up on the night and they looked to be in cruise control before two goals in as many minutes from 18-year-old substitute Che Adams levelled the tie overall. But a calm finish from Eriksen with three minutes left meant...

Neymar sinks Atletico

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique said he had to substitute two-goal star Neymar to prevent the Brazilian from being injured as his side's Copa del Rey quarterfinal, second leg with Atletico Madrid turned nasty. The Catalans went through 4-2 on aggregate after coming from behind twice to win 3-2 on the night as Atletico were reduced to nine men and were lucky not to be more harshly punished when Arda Turan was only booked for throwing his boot at an assistant...

Costa in hot water

Costa in hot water

Chelsea striker Diego Costa faces a three-game suspension after being charged with violent conduct for appearing to stamp on Liverpool's Emre Can, the Football Association announced on Wednesday. Costa seemed to deliberately stand on Can's ankle in the 12th minute of Tuesday's League Cup semifinal second leg at Stamford Bridge, which Chelsea won 1-0...

Editorial

Editorial

Dilemma over oil pricing

ACCORDING to a report published yesterday in a leading Bangla daily, price per litre of diesel and furnace oil stood at Tk.44 and Tk.28 respectively as per last week's price of oil per barrel in the international market. Yet, prices remain stagnant in the country for these two types of oil at Tk.66 and Tk.60 respectively. Apparently, authorities have decided to watch the market for the next six months before adjusting the prices. In the meantime, consumers both at...

Editorial

Masterminds of violence eluding capture

AT least 500 cocktail and petrol bombs have been inflicted on the public and property over the last 24 days, and 588 people have been arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in arson attacks and violence on law enforcement agencies. Based on their investigations, the DB police have identified 170 masterminds of cocktail and bomb attacks in the capital. According to the police, 70 of these “terrorists” belong to Chhatra Shibir, while the rest are members of...

Op-ed

Editorial

Dilemma over oil pricing

ACCORDING to a report published yesterday in a leading Bangla daily, price per litre of diesel and furnace oil stood at Tk.44 and Tk.28 respectively as per last week's price of oil per barrel in the international market. Yet, prices remain stagnant in the country for these two types of oil at Tk.66 and Tk.60 respectively. Apparently, authorities have decided to watch the market for the next six months before adjusting the prices. In the meantime, consumers both at...

Editorial

Masterminds of violence eluding capture

AT least 500 cocktail and petrol bombs have been inflicted on the public and property over the last 24 days, and 588 people have been arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in arson attacks and violence on law enforcement agencies. Based on their investigations, the DB police have identified 170 masterminds of cocktail and bomb attacks in the capital. According to the police, 70 of these “terrorists” belong to Chhatra Shibir, while the rest are members of...

CROSS TALK

Death of politics and politics of death

IN Aeneid, a Latin epic poem written by Virgil, Aeneas readily complied after his enemies requested for a twelve-day truce so that they would have the chance to bury and honour their lost soldiers. A similar occasion had arisen in this country last week, when BNP chairperson's son died in Malaysia and she needed some space to mourn her loss. Since she never requested for relief from her side, the ruling party politicians had nothing to comply. Instead they...

Sunday Pouch

Titans meet, world notices

Titans meet, world notices

WHEN US President Obama came on a three day visit to India, an unusual spectacle was seen at Delhi airport. There was Modi, the prime minister of India waiting anxiously at the foot of Air Force One to welcome Obama and his wife Michelle. Modi himself was wearing a bright orange and beige...

Presidential echoes

WONDER if when Mr. Barack Obama took time out from official engagements he perused the Republic Day message from President Pranab Mukherjee -- there is an uncanny commonality with the undertones of his farewell speech at the Siri Fort “town hall.” The festivity that bridged the physical distance between the White House and Raisina Hill was a veneration of the Indian Constitution -- hence both presidents were morally bound to exhort the upholding of its sacred tenets, many of...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Act of God, absentee mothers!

Act of God, absentee mothers!

Focus on the battle and not the war. One step at a time and then move on to the next stage -- is the golden rule to follow for the highly confusing and self-complicated political situation our leaders have pushed the country in. If we are to come out on the other side...

Remembering Zaglul

Not a requiem but a will to remedy needed

Not a requiem but a will to remedy needed

TWO months have gone by since Zaglul Ahmed Choudhury passed away in a tragic road accident at a very busy intersection in the heart of the city. More important, the spot where the accident happened was within ten meters of a police box. There were policemen directing traffic. According to various news reports, Zaglul fell from a bus that did not stop completely before allowing an elderly passenger to get down. As expected, the government promptly set up an enquiry committee headed by a member of the BRTA and declared that a report would be submitted within a week. It even announced a reward for information on the errant driver...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Momentary Lapse of (Un)Reason

SK for a noun. You are guaranteed to not only get a noun, but a highly emphatic one based on rock solid confidence. As a bonus, you get a decorative adjective. “Do you know Naveed?” “Of course! I had tea with him just yesterday.” The emphatic noun. Then a frown: “He's a...” What follows is a barrage of expletives, i.e., adjectives. So, answering your boss's off the cuff query “Do you know what was Christopher Columbus' second cousin's name?” with “No, I'm afraid...

Letter To The Editor

''A good gesture by PM''

This refers to the editorial “A good gesture by PM” published in TDS on January 26, 2015. I respectfully disagree with the editorial. First of all, the core reason for the current tension is the non-participatory election in 2014. Without addressing the core issue, the tension cannot be diffused by a mere condolence visit. Secondly, the PM and her entourage were well aware of the condition and state of mind of Khaleda Zia due to the loss of her...

Letter To The Editor

Mothers bear the same pain

I deeply mourn the unexpected death of Arafat Rahman Koko and feel the condition in which his mother is. At the same time, I also feel the agony of those mothers who have lost their children in recent arson attacks or whose children are writhing in pain in the hospitals. I realise the anxiety of thousands of mothers of the 14 lakh SSC examinees who are facing uncertainty over the forthcoming exam. Who will ensure their security while going...

Letter To The Editor

Who runs BNP?

A Bengali daily carried a comment that there was a call from somewhere and  Khaleda Zia's spokesperson had rushed out and locked the gate of the BNP Gulshan office so that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could not enter the premises to express her condolences to Khaleda Zia on the death of Arafat Rahman Koko. All this had happened while the senior leaders of BNP, who are mostly in their mid seventies, were sitting in Khaleda Zia's office. Later on,...

Comments on news report

“Blockade raises cost of business,” published on January 27, 2015 Sayed Rahman Blockade raises not only cost of business but also the living expense of general people. Both the parties are talking about people, but people are not happy with the present situation. **** “Police asked to intensify raid, watch” (Jan. 27, 2015) Barkat Instead of doing so much hard work why can't the government just sit and talk with BNP? Why can't there be a free and fair inclusive mid-term election for the sake...

Entertainment

All eyes on Ekushey Book Fair

All eyes on Ekushey Book Fair

The month-long Amar Ekuhsey Book Fair will begin on the first day of February. Ahead of the largest book fair in the country, publishers, organisers and authors are busy with last minute preparations for the literary extravaganza. As last year, this year's fair will take place simultaneously at the historical Bangla Academy premises...

A folksy night at the Sufi Fest Dhaka

A folksy night at the Sufi Fest Dhaka

The Army Museum ground was reverberating with music and beaming with lights as the performances of second night began at the Sufi Fest 2015. It was Bangladeshi band Shikor, comprising Rob Fakir, Shafi Mondal and Beby Dewan, who opened the show with an instrumental of Lalon's “Milon Hobey Koto Diney”. Then Rob Fakir rendered...

Dance-drama festival continues

Dance-drama festival continues

Directed by Enamul Haque, Gowhar Jamil and Abul Kashem, artistes of Nrityashilpi Sangstha, Khulna; Jago Art Centre and Jhankar performed in three dance dramas – “Rongila Nayer Majhi”, “Samanno Khoti” and “Gunai Bibi” on the second day (January 28) of the first National Dance Drama Festival. Jointly organised by Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sangstha and...

Taylor Swift trademarks “1989” phrases

Taylor Swift trademarks “1989” phrases

If you want to “Party Like It's 1989” to “This Sick Beat”, you better ask Taylor Swift's permission first. The pop star has trademarked those phrases – along with “'Cause We Never Go Out of Style,” “Could Show You Incredible Things” and “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?” – with the US...

Rapid Fire

Moushumi Hamid

Moushumi Hamid

Former Lux Superstar Moushumi Hamid is a household name on the small screen. While acting in TV plays, she has ventured into cinema as well. The talented actress faced some quick questions from The Daily Star. How do you feel when you're not facing the camera for some days? Moushumi: I feel bored. What comes next to love? Moushumi: Pain and sorrow. Are you scared of supernatural forces? Moushumi: That was when I was more into fairytales… If you could get Aladdin's magic lamp, what would you do? Moushumi: I would end traffic jam and clean the city up. What would you do if you found your wallet was missing, when the bill arrived to you at a fancy...

Actors are like missionaries … Azad Abul Kalam

Actors are like missionaries … Azad Abul Kalam

Azad Abul Kalam, is not merely a popular actor but also a writer and director. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, he talked about if the next generation should make a full time career of stage acting:         In Azad's words: “Struggle had become the norm and in Bangladesh it is rather...

''Charm of the Silk Road''

''Charm of the Silk Road''

Marking 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and China and celebration of the Chinese New Year, Bangladesh-China Friendship Center in association with Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) will hold three shows of a cultural programme titled “Dunhuang Melody: Charm of the Silk Road by Gansu...

The music of Roy gains momentum

The music of Roy gains momentum

“Roy”, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez, had drawn attention thanks to its interesting cast right from the beginning. The trailer of the T-Series film was well-received. Now, the music too is adding to the anticipation around the Vikramjit Singh-directed thriller. After being launched digitally on January 11, the songs have gone...

''Filmmaking is my passion and music my addiction'' … Saiful Islam Jarnal

''Filmmaking is my passion and music my addiction'' … Saiful Islam Jarnal

Saiful Islam Jarnal wears many hats: he is the designated percussionist of the urban folk band Joler Gaan, a distinguished theatre activist, musician and film-maker, model and actor. The versatile artiste spoke to The Daily Star about his busy career, musical skills and his innings as an actor. Excerpts: How do you juggle filmmaking...

NEWS bytes

Ghostbusters female line-up confirmed

Ghostbusters female line-up confirmed

“Bridesmaids” co-stars Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are set to reunite in the all-female “Ghostbusters” sequel, director Paul Feig has confirmed. Saturday Night Live comediennes Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon will join them in the film, Feig announced on Twitter. He went on to confirm it would be released on July 22, 2016. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson played the ghost-hunting quartet in the 1984 original. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film made almost $300m at the global box office. A sequel, “Ghostbusters II”, followed five years later. Source: BBC

Riaz and Nova in “Pushpo…Tomar Opekkhay”

Riaz and Nova in “Pushpo…Tomar Opekkhay”

Riaz and Nova Firoz will make their first appearance as an on-screen couple in single episode drama “Pushpo…Tomar Opekkhay”. The play, written and directed by Raihan Khan, features them as a romantic duo who will face ordeals in their relationship. The play will air on Valentine's Day on a private TV channel.

TV Watch

TV Watch

BTV's popular variety show “Ittyadi” showcases the country's culture, history and heritage. As the longest-running TV series in Bangladesh, the programme has always looked for new, innovative ways to entertain people, while also upholding their social responsibilities. This episode of the show was shot at Khagrachari. The programme planned, written and directed by...

IT'S TRUE!

IT'S TRUE!

American animated sitcom “The Simpsons” is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series since its debut on December 17, 1989. “The Simpsons” is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time: Time magazine's December 31, 1999, issue named...

City

Denunciation of violence, calls for talks continue

People of different sections of society yesterday continued their denunciation of the ongoing violence and called on the political parties to find a peaceful solution. They also demanded punishment for those burning civilians to death. "Peace will be never achieved if we don't sit and talk," said Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, addressing a token hunger strike before its Kakrail office in the capital. The special envoy to the prime minister urged the "judicious" politicians to organise a dialogue. On Sunday, Ershad sent...

Faction of teachers, staff call indefinite strike at BRUR

A faction of teachers, students and staff of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur (BRUR) yesterday called an indefinite strike demanding that the postponed admission test of the university be held immediately. They also sought removal of the vice chancellor as, what they claimed, he is not taking proper steps to hold the test. They were addressing a human chain formed on the campus. Dr RM Hafizur Rahman, convener of Samannita Odhikar Bastobayan Parishad and president of BRUR Teachers' Association, said they were demonstrating...

Have cops been indemnified by premier?

Alarmed at whether the prime minister has given indemnity to police to stop the BNP-led blockade violence, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna yesterday slammed the law enforcers for the so-called shootouts that have killed ten people since January 12. “Rab, BGB and police chiefs have spoken of extremities. Has the premier given them indemnity for offence?” he told a meeting with journalists in the Shishu Kalyan Parishad auditorium in the capital. On Wednesday, Sheikh Hasina ordered police to “do anything...

HC bars use of date expired stents

The High Court yesterday barred the use of stents past their sell-by date and issued a rule upon the government asking why the practice should not be declared illegal. In a suomoto rule, it directed the Directorate General of Health Services director general to form a three-member committee to probe allegations of a hospital engaged in the practice and submit a report in a month. It fixed March 1 to pass further orders. The direction came a day after Channel 24...

Govt not yet using full force against violence

Govt not yet using full force against violence

The government has not yet used its full force to clamp down on violence going on in the name of a blockade and occasional shutdowns, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said yesterday, dismissing accusations that the administration has failed to maintain stability. "Violence is reported only in 10-12 out of the 64 districts," he said. "There may be some damage or losses if a tornado or storm strikes. But it is not permanent. We hope that the government together with people will overcome the existing crisis." He was addressing a press conference in Dhaka Reporters Unity, organised by Bangladesh Sramik-Karmachari-Peshajibi-Muktijoddha Samannay Parishad, a newly floated platform of pro-government workers, employees, freedom fighters,...

MPs, families, JS officials to get new stickers for vehicles

Three new vehicle stickers will be issued for lawmakers, their families and Jatiya Sangsad officials to check rampant misuse of the existing ones and allow owners to be easily identified, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury informed the House yesterday. Each lawmaker will be issued one holographic sticker containing a security code and his/her vehicle's registration number while the respective family another of a different colour, she said. Even domestic helps of lawmakers are using the existing stickers while forged copies have been...

Binodpur Massacre During Liberation War

Another implicates Mahidur, Afsar

A prosecution witness yesterday vividly described his miraculous survival and his brother's death right before him after war crimes accused Mahidur Rahman and Afsar Hossain alias Chutu shot them in Chapainawabganj during the 1971 Liberation War. Jakaria, 62, however, mixed up the accused standing at the dock two consecutive times when asked by the three-member International Crimes Tribunal-2 to identify them, prompting the defence to suggest he had given a “tutored and untrue testimony”, to which he replied in the...

Road crashes kill 6

Countrywide road accidents killed six people and injured 17 others yesterday and Wednesday In Natore, Shiahab Uddin, 35, of Rajshahi died and 10 people were injured when a truck and a human-hauler collided head-on in Chandpur area of Natore Sadar on Wednesday. In Gazipur, a bus helper died and five people were injured when a bus turned turtle as the driver lost control over the vehicle on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Nayanpur area of Sreepur upazila yesterday. In Dinajpur, Josna Begum, 60, of...

Mirsarai land office set ablaze

Unidentified miscreants set the office of assistant commissioner (land) in Mirsarai upazila of Chittagong ablaze early yesterday, resulting in damage to at least a hundred valuable land documents. Fazle Elahi Oli, the assistant commissioner (land), said the miscreants poured patrol after breaking a windowpane on the east side of the one-storey building and set the room on fire. The record room was not damaged as they doused the fire within 10 minutes, around 2:40am, he added. A case was filed. On...

HC halts operation of five Ctg factories

The High Court yesterday issued an injunction prohibiting five factories in Chittagong from continuing its operations until they obtain environmental clearance certificates from the proper authorities.   The factories, Banoful and Company (Food Products), Banoful Mineral Water, Ambia Paper Mills, Mostofa Paper Products, and Anwara Paper Mills, are located at Habilashdweep union in Patiya upazila. Responding to a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, the court also ordered a total of eight factories, including the five, to stop unauthorised and...

Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar recipients announced

The "Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar 2014" was announced in seven out of ten categories at a press conference on the academy premises yesterday afternoon, ahead of the Ekushey Book Fair. Journalist Shihab Sarkar won in the category of poetry, physician Zakir Talukdar in Katha Sahitya (literature), former professor of Comilla University Shantanu Kaiser in essay, former Bangla professor of Chittagong University Bhuiyan Iqbal in research, journalist Khaleque Bin Zainuddin in juvenile literature, Bangladeshi expatriate writer Mainush Sultan in the biography...

News in Brief

18 gold bars seized at Dhaka airport Staff Correspondent Customs officials seized 18 gold bars weighing two kilogrammes at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital yesterday morning. On information, a team of the officials searched a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines and recovered the unclaimed gold from inside a bag on a seat, said Kazi Md Ziauddin, joint commissioner of customs. The flight came from Dubai, he said, adding that market value of the gold was Tk 1 crore. Climate adaptation project for...

Matin, Serajul new IUB Trust chair, vice-chair

Matin, Serajul new IUB Trust chair, vice-chair

A Matin Chowdhury and Syed Serajul Huq have been elected chairman and vice-chairman to the Education, Science, Technology and Cultural Development Trust (ESTCDT), the founding trust of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) respectively for 2015-2016. Matin is the managing director of New Asia Ltd, and Serajul is the chairman of Sea Pearl Lines Ltd, says...

Obituary

Anwar Hossain; a freedom fighter, founder president of Awami League Dumki upazila-unit and former Lebukhali UP chairman; died of a cardiac arrest at Bangabandhu Medical University Hospital in Dhaka on Wednesday. He was 82. He was buried at his family graveyard in Dumki Sadar yesterday. He was the father of Ariful Islam Pintu, section officer for Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU). Prof Shahmsuddin, PSTU vice-chancellor, mourned his death.

Country

Illegal Husking Mill at Barind's Deep Tube-Well Site

Irrigation badly hampered

Irrigation badly hampered

A husking mill and its chatal (paved ground) set up on the land of a deep tube-well of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) at Hariharpur Balapara village in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila hampers irrigation on 500 acres of land, much to the worry of farmers in the ongoing Irri-boro season.             Water Development Board acquired...

Man jailed for 14 years in arms case

A special tribunal here yesterday sentenced a youth to 14 years' rigorous imprisonment for possessing firearms. The convict, Mohammad Shamim, 35, son of Alamgir Master, is a resident of Koylardiar village in Shibganj upazila of the district. Special Tribunal-1 Judge Kabita Khanam delivered the verdict in the afternoon. According to the prosecution, a team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-5) raided Shamim's house and arrested him for possessing four pistols, eight magazines and 24 bullets on October 2, 2013. Mohammad Ali, sub-inspector of Shibganj...

Plum cultivation gaining popularity

Plum cultivation gaining popularity

Cultivation of plum, especially baukul and apple kul varieties developed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), is gaining popularity in Sharsha upazila under the district. Seeing its profitability in recent years, increasing number of farmers, especially youths, are engaging in plum cultivation. Around five hundred farmers are cultivating different varieties of plum including baukul and...

Paddy trader hacked to death in Bogra

A paddy trader was hacked to death at Shibakomla village in Kahaloo upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Dhukhu Mia, 39, son of Bulu Mondal of Shabrul village in Shajahanpur upazila. Locals said Dhukhu Mia along with a van puller was returning his father-in-law's house after attending a religious function there. A gang waylaid the two and demanded toll. As they failed to pay heed to the demand, the criminals attacked them with sharp weapons, leaving them seriously injured. They were...

42,200 Yaba tablets seized in Teknaf, five arrested

Law enforcers in separate drives arrested five people and seized around 42,200 Yaba tablets in Teknaf upazila of the district yesterday. Officer-in-Charge (OC) Ataur Rahman Khandaker of Teknaf Police Station said a police team, acting on a tip-off, raided Teknaf bus stand at around 12:30pm and arrested two people with 40,000 Yaba tablets. The arrestees are Nazrul Islam, 20, son of Saber Ahmed of Guchchhagram village; and Mahmudul Alam, son Abdul Ahad of Dakhin Jaliapara village in the upazila. Police said...

Schoolgirl rescued an hour into abduction

A schoolgirl was rescued an hour into abduction from Rishkhali village in Harinakundo upazila of the district yesterday. Police arrested one of the abductors named Abdus Salam, 24, son of Shahidul Islam of Dakhalpur village in the upazila. Ershadul Kabir, officer in-charge of Harinakundo Police Station, said a gang of two abducted the 12-year-old girl, also a class VI student at Rishkhali International Pre-Cadet School, while she was going to attend her coaching classes at the school around 8:40am. The gang...

Rape of Marma girl sparks protest in Khagrachhari

A human chain was formed in the district town yesterday, demanding exemplary punishment to a culprit who raped a 21-year-old girl of the Marma Community on Wednesday. The district unit of Hill Women's Federation (HWF) organised the programme at Changhi Square in the town. The participants in the rally urged the government to take immediate steps to ensure security of hill women. Among others, Barun Chakma, leader of Democratic Youth Forum (DYF), Ratan Chakma, leader of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), and Abonika...

Crude bombs hurled at Tariqul, four other BNP leaders' houses

Criminals hurled crude bombs at the houses of BNP standing committee member and former minister Tariqul Islam and four other Jessore BNP leaders in the district town early yesterday. District BNP sources said crude mobs were hurled at the houses of Tariqul Islam, district unit General Secretary Syed Saberul Haque Sabu, Vice-President Golam Reza Dulu, Organising Secretary Delwar Hossain Khokon and Joint Secretary Mizanur Rahman Khan. Delwar Hossain Khokon said unidentified criminal threw bomb at the house of Tariqul Islam at...

Accused in Nandail JCD activist killing case yet to be arrested

Police are yet to arrest the killers of a local Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal  activist, who was hacked to death in Chandipasha area under Nandail upazila on Wednesday. The deceased is Asif Parvez Tupan, 23, a member of the Nandail upazila unit of JCD and son of Abdur Razzaq, a retired warrant officer of Bangladesh Air Force. He was a LLB second year student of a college in Kishoreganj district. Police and family sources said JCD activists Ashrafuzzaman and Masud, friends of...

500 kg jatka seized in Munshiganj

Coastguards and officials of the district fisheries department seized 500 kilograms of jatka (hilsa less than 10 inches long) from two launches in the Dhaleshwari River yesterday. Sadar upazila fisheries officer Shahjada Khasru said a joint team of coastguard and the district fisheries department conducted drives in two Dhaka-bound launches named MV Karnaphuli-3 and MV Farhan-2 in the morning and seized 500 kilograms of jatka. The owners of the hilsa fish managed to flee the scene, sensing the presence of the...

Rangpur robbery, 2 more held

Police arrested two more alleged members of a robber gang yesterday in Rangpur city in connection with a robbery at a house in Mahiganj-Dewantuli area of the city early Wednesday. They are Sumon Hossain, 30, of Lalmonirhat and Rasel Miah, 27, of Gazipur. Earlier, on Wednesday Shukur Ali, 25, of Khasbagh area, and Alam Mian, 32, of Kutirpara area were arrested following the robbery. During primary interrogation the arrestees admitted their involvement in the robbery, said police.

Snaps and Snippets

BNP leader arrested   Our Correspondent, Jhalakthi Police arrested a local BNP leader at Suktakar in Rajapur upazila on Wednesday evening. The arrestee is Abul Kalam Azad, secretary of Rajapur upazila unit of BNP, said Md Masuduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Rajapur Police Station. Kalam, also the chairman of the upazila parishad, was arrested on charge of planning subversive activities in the area, said the OC. Jailer suspended Our Correspondent, Jhalakathi Jhalakathi jailer Md Shariful Islam has been suspended for negligence of duty. The home ministry...

World

Lanka Plans fresh war crimes probe

Lanka Plans fresh war crimes probe

Sri Lanka is planning an investigation into accusations of human rights abuses in the final stages of a 26-year civil war amid international frustration at the failure to look into numerous civilian deaths, a government spokesman said late on Wednesday. Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was ousted in a surprise election defeat this month,...

Modi tightens grip over policy

Modi tightens grip over policy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fired the country's highest ranking diplomat and replaced her with India's ambassador to the United States, a day after a successful visit by US President Barack Obama. Modi's appointment of Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as foreign secretary, the top bureaucrat at the foreign ministry, underscores the prime minister's control over foreign affairs. But his abrupt sacking of Sujatha Singh, the foreign secretary appointed by the previous Congress administration, was criticised by the Congress party. Since he swept to power last year, Modi has virtually taken over the reins of foreign policy, beginning with an unprecedented invitation to regional leaders to attend his inauguration and followed by high profile...

US brands Taliban and ISIS differently

The United States has described the Afghan Taliban as "an armed insurgency", while the Islamic State as a "terrorist" group, drawing a controversial distinction between the two militant organizsations. "The Taliban is an armed insurgency. ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) is a terrorist group. So we don't make concessions to terrorist groups," White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters in response to questions at the daily press briefing on Wednesday. Asked whether the Jordanian government's...

Thai junta gets tough on dissent

Thailand's junta said yesterday it had summoned two opposition members "to amend their political way of thinking", less than a week after former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was banned from politics. The announcement comes after a lull in strong-arm tactics by the military following a coup last May that overthrew the government, ending months of protests in which about 30 people were killed. Lieutenant General Kampanart Ruddit said the army had summoned Chaturon Chaisaeng, a former education minister and Puea Thai...

'Halt executions'

Rights organisations yesterday called on Pakistan to halt the execution of the first civilian for a non-terror related offence since 2008, saying the move would violate its own official policy. Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty last month in the case of convicted terrorists following a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar which killed 150 people. Since then it has hanged 20 people, with plans to execute up to 500. But a death warrant issued this week for...

Anna Hazare to take on Narendra Modi

Anna Hazare to take on Narendra Modi

Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has said he will launch a campaign against the government, three years after he staged a hunger strike that forced radical policy changes. Hazare said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to enact the changes his hunger strike had called for. He said the government had also failed to recover any of an estimated $500bn stashed illegally overseas. Hazare's 2011 campaign energised a national anti-corruption movement. It forced the Congress party government to bring in the Lokpal bill, which envisaged setting up an independent ombudsman with the power to prosecute politicians and civil servants. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party defeated Congress last year, and promised to tackle corruption. However, Hazare told...

India wields club on golfing bureaucrats

India's right-wing government has scrapped membership of Delhi's prestigious golf club for bureaucrats as part of a crackdown on its notoriously work-shy civil servants, a report said yesterday. The memberships had been awarded to a select group of serving and retired bureaucrats by the previous left-leaning Congress government, the Hindustan Times daily said. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has now scrapped the perk, cancelling memberships for 27 civil servants teeing off from the club's plush greens and mulling the future...

MH370 crash an 'accident'

MH370 crash an 'accident'

Malaysia yesterday formally declared missing flight MH370 an "accident" and its passengers and crew presumed dead, a step that opens the door for compensation payments but which was met with angry skepticism by distraught relatives. "It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the government of Malaysia, we...

AirAsia Tragedy

Co-pilot was flying jet when it crashed

The French first officer and co-pilot of AirAsia flight QZ8501 was controlling the plane in the last moments before it crashed into the sea off Indonesia, killing all 162 on board. Captain Remi Plesel, 46, is believed to have been in charge from take-off until the cockpit voice recording, recovered from the Java Sea earlier this month, ends. Plesel had 2,247 hours experience, according to a Bloomberg report last month, in comparison to his co-pilot captain Iriyanto, 53, who had clocked...

Gorbachev warns of 'hot' war

Gorbachev warns of 'hot' war

Europe yesterday prepared to draft even tougher sanctions against Russia over Ukraine as ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned against the danger of an increasingly isolated Kremlin fighting back. The last Soviet leader's words of caution came with the daily death toll in Ukraine's separatist east spiking again with the nine-month war threatening to turn into a lasting conflict that keeps Europe on constant edge. Gorbachev said the West's decision to respond to the violence by blaming Russia and cutting it off from access to US and European capital markets threatened to spiral into open warfare with dire consequences across the world. "Where will that lead all of us? A Cold War is...

Isis Hostage Crisis

The 3 People at the Centre

Kenji Goto Kenji Goto, 47, is a respected freelance journalist who reported from various conflict zones for Japanese media. His last report from the Turkish-Syrian border town of Kobani aired in October. In his final video on YouTube before he was captured he explained why he was heading to Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold in Syria. “Syrian people suffering for three-years-and-a-half – it's enough” he said. Goto, a married father, was taken hostage by Isis shortly after his last broadcast. The...

Don't meddle in Cuba's affairs

Don't meddle in Cuba's affairs

Cuba will not accept any interference from the United States in its internal affairs, President Raul Castro said yesterday, warning that meddling would make rapprochement between the two countries "meaningless". His comments came after US Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, the highest-ranking US government official to visit the island in 35 years, held...

Ebola endgame begins: WHO

Ebola endgame begins: WHO

The number of new confirmed Ebola cases totalled 99 in the week to Jan 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, signalling the tide might have turned against the epidemic. "The response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as...

Israel, Hezbollah play down war fears

Israel, Hezbollah play down war fears

Israel yesterday burried two soldiers killed in a Hezbollah missile strike that triggered Israeli fire on southern Lebanon, raising tensions between the bitter enemies to their highest in years. But the Israeli-Lebanese border was calm, and Israeli officials played down the threat of a new war with the powerful Iran-backed Shia group's militia. In an...

Gas blast at Mexico child hospital kills 3

A gas explosion ripped through a children's hospital in Mexico City yesterday, killing at least three people and injuring dozens, including 22 children, officials said. Rescuers toiled through the rubble of the Maternity and Children's Hospital in the Cuajimalpa borough to look for people who were trapped following the blast, said civil protection chief Fausto Lugo. Adrian Rubalcava, the president of the Cuajimalpa borough, reported that four babies and three adults had died, but both Lugo and Mexico City Mayor Miguel...

News in Brief

Pakistani provincial governor resigns Afp, Lahore The governor of Pakistan's central Punjab province resigned yesterday, saying the country's political system had failed ordinary people and served "only the elite class". Mohammad Sarwar, who served as a British member of parliament for more than a decade, was appointed to the largely ceremonial role  in 2013. Indonesia ready to execute foreigners   Afp, Jakarta Indonesia is ready to execute seven foreign drug convicts on death row after their appeals for presidential clemency were rejected, an official...

The Star

Cover Story

THE 9 TO 5 CONUNDRUM

THE 9 TO 5 CONUNDRUM

Confucius says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work.” I am sure most of today's jobs didn't exist then. Neither was it so difficult to find one. Despite the ever-rising cost of getting a degree, one fact stands out today like a student shouting in a quiet campus library:...

Chintito

Death of an Opportunity

Death of an Opportunity

Abroad he died Away from home she cried Rare, but emotions she could not hide Yet, the blockade they said could not be defied In many places shops did not abide And vehicles too plied Yet the destruction was not nullified She took the ride To meet her she tried Emotions she did not want to hide Dubbed 'crocodile tears' in comments so snide Meanwhile,petrol bombs on buses were being applied Charred were the bodies inside The innocent, even children were being crucified Amidst the smell of carbon dioxide Not the dead, but the living cried Whom will they chide? About any wrong-doing, they denied Some say they lied Killers they were was as clear as print on bromide Such inhuman burning how long will the common man bide? As...

Current Affairs

The Genesis of Crisis

The Genesis of Crisis

More than a week ago, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has announced that her party-led alliance will keep enforcing the ongoing blockade until the government creates an atmosphere congenial for holding a free and fair early election. For the sake of argument, let's think that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agrees with Khaleda's demand and...

Photography

Retelling People's History

Retelling People's History

We are about to tell you a story about a photograph which is at least fifty years old. Fungus has caused damage in the lower part of the sepia-tone picture, but the faces are still visible.  This is a story of a young woman named Parvati. She was married off to a man much older to her when she was still a child. Her husband was already married to another woman. The couple decided to bring Parvati since they had been unable to have any children.  Parvati's niece Sandhya Shah says the first wife of Parvati's husband took on the role of her guide. The couple truly believed that...

Straight Talk

Fact vs Fiction

Fact vs Fiction

Breaking News: According to experts, there have been recent UFO (unidentified foreign objects) sightings in and around Bangladesh. Unprecedented satellite images have shown large objects resembling spaceships positioned over Sylhet and Chittagong. Correspondent Joseph Bloggs has reported that it was “like a scene from a science fiction movie. Although unperceivable to the naked...

Sport

The Bengal Tigress

The Bengal Tigress

When Shakib All Hassan gets a cold, it's heard all around the country. On Tamim Iqbal's wedding day, thousands log on to Facebook to get a glimpse of the lucky bride. People queue outside Mushfiqur Rahim's house for a single autograph. But if we were to ask the same people about Salma Khatun, we'd get a blank look. And when we inform them that she is the captain of the Bangladesh National Women's Cricket Team, most reply with an apathetic oh’. Despite the lack of public and media attention, the Bangladesh National Women's Cricket Team continue to make us proud in the international arena. The team had a victorious international...

International

OBAMA'S INDIA VISIT AND CHINA

OBAMA'S INDIA VISIT AND CHINA

India may be pushed back against China once again. This, in essence, is the line many media commentaries have been taking. It is this backdrop that makes US President Barack Obama's visit as the chief guest at India's Republic Day parade on January 26 interesting. His visit follows that of Japanese Prime Minister...

Info-tech

A CLOUDY POTENTIAL

A CLOUDY POTENTIAL

Mahmud looked at a table titled 'current status' on the Sirvoy software interface. There were 16 check-ins vs. 10 check-outs and the occupancy rate was at around 80%. He quickly changed the view to check what the split of the guests were by nationality. Then he jumped to another page to view room...

Village Flute

Sree Jamlal's Book

Sree Jamlal's Book

Village police officer and secretary of the local indigenous association in Dinajpur's Ghoraghat, Sree Jamlal Robidas, 60, is proud to show a copy of a manuscript he has. The simple book which is not grander than a basic exercise book, has well-decorated but worn and faded pages. Nonetheless, in his modest family home,...

Art

Voyage of Nature

Voyage of Nature

Most of Rahman Sami's paintings, dreamlike and nostalgic, have been done on sight. Rain and thunder are integral part of the pieces. Imagination has gone into much of his work. Fifty percent of the paintings have been done at Zahing Xi Province, in the old city, in China where Sami and other students from...

Reflections

A Pioneering Educator

A Pioneering Educator

It was that time of the year again; Ordinary Level GCE examinations results had been released. Thousands of 15-16 year olds streamed into the British Council to pick up their results, their hearts bursting with excitement, nervousness, hoping for the best and trying to be prepared for the worst.In a house on a peaceful street in Dhanmondi, for over twenty years, this same day was met with a sense of eagerness, anticipation and excitement. Atia Huq, Bengali teacher at Maple Leaf International and Dhanmondi Tutorial, waited eagerly for the first throng of her students to come to visit her with the good news of their Bengali GCE O Level...

Book Review

History and Elemental Law

History and Elemental Law

Iqbal-The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician By Zafar Anjum Random House India. Price 499/ Pages-274 Elemental law, history and poetry are indelibly linked and the best connection among the three was sought by none other than Derek Walcott who wrote, “For every poet it is always the morning in the world, and History a forgotten insomniac night; History and elemental awe are always our early beginning, because the fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world, in spite of History.” Zafar Anjum's sprawling book, a reminder of the raison d' etre of what Walcott said, begins with a question posed to him by one of his friends,...

Health

Irritated Reservoir!!

Irritated Reservoir!!

Cholecystitis- a term, I believe may feel like an alienated word to many. But actually it is something, every household has themselves experienced or atleast have heard of from their relatives. Cholecystitis is a medical term for inflammation of the gall bladder. With the rise of fast foods and sedentary lifestyle, Cholecystitis has nearly become an epidemic. To get a clear understanding of this disease, we need to first know about the whole set-up- Gallbladder- It's a small sac, hiding just under the liver, which acts as a reservoir for bile. Bile is a bitter tasting, greenish fluid that helps you in digesting food (especially fatty foods). This bile is produced...

Star Diary

Star Diary

Disruption and Commotion Like any other evening, I went to the kitchen to make some snacks for my family. When I tried to turn on the stove, I found that there was no gas. We waited till 11 in the night and even then there was no sign of any gas connection. We...

Quirky Science

Quirky Science

Ebola epidemic in Liberia could be ended by June There is a chance that the Ebola epidemic in Liberia could be eliminated by June 2015 if the current high rate of hospitalisation and vigilance can be maintained. That's according to a new model developed by ecologists at the University of Georgia and Pennsylvania State...

Remembrance

THE POLEMIC WRITER

THE POLEMIC WRITER

Saadat Hassan Manto is one of the greatest authors of the sub-continent. Best known for his short stories, he also authored a novel, five collections of radio plays and three collections of essays. He also has two collections of personal sketches. He is one of the greatest authors of Urdu literature and many of his writings have been translated into other languages. His writings reflect the human sufferings and social dilemma during the post-partition period in India and Pakistan. Through his writings he asked questions to human conscience against the doctrine of long established social values. We remember this great author on his 60th death anniversary. Saadat Hassan Manto was...

Postscript

Being Human First

Being Human First

When the news of the PM visiting the Chairperson of BNP came to us we were filled with relief. We were relieved and impressed that our PM had risen above her personal and political animosity towards her archrival and reached out to a mother who had lost her son. Many will say it...

MAILBOX

MAILBOX

A visual (Af)fair The cover story about Chobimela was very encouraging for an aspiring photographer like me. Now in its eighth year, Chobimela has become a platform for talented photographers of the world to showcase their works. It is a great achievement for our country. I hope Chobimela will grow into an even bigger...

JALĀL AD-DĪN MUHAMMAD RŪMĪ

JALĀL AD-DĪN MUHAMMAD RŪMĪ

1207 to 17 December 1273 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, popularly known as Rūmī was influential among different national borders and ethnic divisions. Iranians, Tajiks, Turkish, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world; today I am wise, so I am changing myself. The wound is the place where the Light enters you. Reason is powerless in the expression of Love. Source: Wikipedia and Search Quotes Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence."

Snapshot

Saraswati Puja

Saraswati Puja

The Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University is beautifully lit and decorated in celebration of Saraswati Puja on January 25. The Hindu goddess Saraswati represents intelligence, creativity, enlightenment, knowledge and power.

Voicebox

"Of course it is American strategy to use India against China….But India is a civilisational state for a long time and pursues independent foreign policy. It is not easy for anybody to use it." WANG YEWEI Professor of the School of international relations at the Renmin University Told CCTV that Obama became the first US President visiting India for the second time and the visit was aimed at containing China " I lived both under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, but Putin is the first...

HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

No Work, No Money Dhaka. Sumon Saha, a tailor, sits idle in front of Tejgaon College at Farmgate in the capital yesterday. His business has been slow since the blockade began on January 6. Careless Dumping Nilphamari. Labourers employed by Ismail Beej Bhandar pf Kalabagan village in Saidpur upaizla under Nilphamari district load rotten...

Babu

Babu

 

Next Step

Inside scoop from a corporate icon

Inside scoop from a corporate icon

After completing his Masters in Economics from York University, Naved Manzoor joined British American Tobacco Bangladesh Ltd. in 2004 as a Management Trainee in Finance. Currently, he is serving the same organisation as the Head of Supply Chain Finance. Despite having a fast-track and splendid career in Finance, he felt the urge to...

A feather in the accounting cap

A feather in the accounting cap

Even up to the early 1990s, national borders used to be much more than territories owned by one particular state – it was the line that separated cultures, rules and attitudes. And hence, companies hardly had to worry about standardised reporting practices. Fast forward to 2015 and the reporting scene has changed drastically. Spearheaded...

NSU YES! hits it out of the park again with MoI '15

NSU YES! hits it out of the park again with MoI '15

Drawing the curtains to the intra-university rounds, North South University Young Entrepreneurs Society (NSU YES!) has blown the whistle to kick off the nationwide inter-university phase of Masters of Ideation 2015 (MoI '15). Marking the third instalment of their premier signature event, NSU YES! has set the stepping stone for aspiring business students...

Water Cooler Chronicles

Unplug, wind down

“Life is a nightmare that prevents one from sleeping,” said Oscar Wilde. But since not all of us are 19th century dilettantes who also happen to be great writers, sleep is something we require. And those sleepless nights staring at mind-numbing posts on social media and barely dragging through work the next day can not only have an impact on productivity. Enter Sleepio. Founded by sleep expert Professor Colin Espie and “ex-insomnia-sufferer” Peter Hames, Sleepio claims to be the solution...

Your free e-learning course this week:

Basic Business Math: Charts and Graphs

Basic Business Math: Charts and Graphs

Course overview Basic math skills are practical in any business situation. Often, numbers can be portrayed in graphical form, giving the reader clear and concise information at a glance. Being able to read and select the right types of charts and graphs in a basic business environment is invaluable. This course builds on the...

Letters

Letter To The Editor

''A good gesture by PM''

This refers to the editorial “A good gesture by PM” published in TDS on January 26, 2015. I respectfully disagree with the editorial. First of all, the core reason for the current tension is the non-participatory election in 2014. Without addressing the core issue, the tension cannot be diffused by a mere condolence visit. Secondly, the PM and her entourage were well aware of the condition and state of mind of Khaleda Zia due to the loss of her...

Letter To The Editor

Mothers bear the same pain

I deeply mourn the unexpected death of Arafat Rahman Koko and feel the condition in which his mother is. At the same time, I also feel the agony of those mothers who have lost their children in recent arson attacks or whose children are writhing in pain in the hospitals. I realise the anxiety of thousands of mothers of the 14 lakh SSC examinees who are facing uncertainty over the forthcoming exam. Who will ensure their security while going...

Letter To The Editor

Who runs BNP?

A Bengali daily carried a comment that there was a call from somewhere and  Khaleda Zia's spokesperson had rushed out and locked the gate of the BNP Gulshan office so that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could not enter the premises to express her condolences to Khaleda Zia on the death of Arafat Rahman Koko. All this had happened while the senior leaders of BNP, who are mostly in their mid seventies, were sitting in Khaleda Zia's office. Later on,...

Comments on news report

“Blockade raises cost of business,” published on January 27, 2015 Sayed Rahman Blockade raises not only cost of business but also the living expense of general people. Both the parties are talking about people, but people are not happy with the present situation. **** “Police asked to intensify raid, watch” (Jan. 27, 2015) Barkat Instead of doing so much hard work why can't the government just sit and talk with BNP? Why can't there be a free and fair inclusive mid-term election for the sake...

City In Frame

The Ugly Face of Politics

The Ugly Face of Politics

Terror acts in the name of political programmes have been plaguing the country for the better part of the current month. Mindless attacks on vehicles, general people and even on the law enforcers mark the ongoing indefinite blockade enforced by the BNP-led anti-government alliance. Innocents were burnt alive, vehicles set alight and trains...